Football icon, Lionel Messi has confirmed that he will retire from international football after the final of the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 on Sunday December 18.
Messi helped Argentina qualify for the final following a commanding 3-0 win against Croatia in Tuesday’s semi-final after he opened scoring and provided an assist for two-goal hero, Julian Alvarez to earn Argentina a World Cup final appearance since 2014.
Speaking to Argentine media outlet Diario Deportivo Ole, after the match, Messi said: “I feel very happy, to be able to achieve this, to finish my World Cup journey by playing my last game in a final.
“It’s many years for the next one and I don’t think I’ll be able to do it. And to finish like this, it’s the best,” added the Argentina captain.
Argentina have not won the World Cup since Diego Maradona led the team to glory in 1986.
Messi came close in 2014 but lost to Germany in extra time. Now, Argentina are once again in the final of the tournament after eight years.
Messi is playing at his fifth World Cup, surpassing the four of Diego Maradona and Javier Mascherano.
With his fifth goal in Qatar, he surpassed Gabriel Batistuta as the top Albiceleste scorer at World Cups, netting 11 times.
Argentina will face either France or Morocco in the World Cup final on Sunday.